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New Courses for 2009-2010

Sacred Commandments and Human Rights

Can religions be formidable forces for the promotion and protection of human rights? What might be the intrinsic motivations for faith communities to support the human rights movement? What inspires believers to take up the struggle for human rights? This course will address these questions, and other related issues, through identifying the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Scriptural foundations for human rights. We will focus especially on teachings concerning God's relationship to creation, human freedom and dignity, and the human capacity for love of God and neighbor. The texts will be studied in English and supplemented with interpretations from the original language.

Faculty: Rabbi Margaret Holub; Imam Khalid Siddiqi; Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC

Faith and Human Rights: Sustaining the Sacred in Society

This seminar course will explore the way the three monotheistic religions teach and advocate for universal human rights. Central to the study will be an investigation of the way global economy, political systems, and international law impact our understanding of human rights, their implementation and adjudication. The course will then focus on the application of human rights to particular issues of society as a discourse with which concerns of both religious and social groups meet in the "public square."

Faculty: Dr. Munir Jiwa (Center for Islamic Studies, GTU), Sr. Marianne Farina CSC, Rabbi Dorothy Richman (Berkeley Hillel) and Dr. Rachel Biale (Progressive Jewish Alliance)